Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally

(Author Edit 12/22/2014: I just wanted to add that I know I wrote a negative review about Stealing Parker and I vowed not to ever read any more of Keneally’s books, but I will say that I gave her a second chance and I absolutely love them! Please read her books! I will say that this one is still not my favorite for obvious reasons, but please don’t let my review sway you from reading any of her other books!)

Goodreads Summary:

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

What I Like:

Miranda Kenneally did it again. I did not see that end coming at all. I guessed something would happen but not how it ended up happening. Yes, I am being very vague because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone. I love that Kenneally writes stories that can seem cliche and adds her own twists that make it new and refreshing. The theme of sports within her books is something I like a lot. I think that hasn’t been done in YA, or at least not recently. I adored that Will and Parker were characters that were relatable. They both have crappy family issues going on. Both are not experts at dealing with difficult life circumstances but together along with some good friends, they figure it out. Somewhat, but that’s how life is. The ending isn’t perfect but it is believable. I love the open-endedness at the end of the book.

What I Dislike:

Here comes the bad stuff. I am sad to report that I will stop reading books written by Miranda Kenneally. Why? Because I don’t like an author trashing my believes. I dislike that she is making Christians look really bad. Yes, there are hypocrites within the church. Yes, there are some people in the church that are judgmental. What irritated me was the fact that the character, Parker, made the assumption that all Christians were the same. You may say, “but Veronica, Parker goes to another church and they don’t treat her like crap?” Well, Parker’s reasoning in the book is that they don’t judge her because they don’t know what happened. If they knew, she would become a social pariah again. It seems to be that the Christian characters being portrayed in the book are what I would call “Cultural Christians,” and not the real deal. The Christian characters in the book also disregard the bible and it is all about your personal relationship with God. Actually, it is supposed to be about both.

Another thing I disliked was Parker’s dad and his inability to stand up for himself. He seemed to read the bible so much in the book. I guess he forgot to read the book of Joshua where God calls us to be brave and not to worry because he will always be with us. It seemed to be that Parker’s dad was not being brave at all but was hiding behind the church as an excuse not do to anything in regards to all of the family issues. Okay, my rant is over.

Overall:

Overall, the story line was good, but I hated the incorrect portrayal of Christians. My reviews are a combination of the writing and my personal opinion on them. That’s how I calculate the rating.

Rating: 3/5

(The only reason it got a 3 was because the story line was great. If I only took into account what I disliked, It would be a 2.)

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!

 

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Adult Contemporary, Special Review

Book Review: Etiquette for the End of the World by Jeanne Martinet

Etiquette for the end of the World by Jeanne Martinet
Etiquette for the end of the World by Jeanne Martinet

I was given a copy of this book through Net Galley. The description of the story was very promising which led me to request it. I started reading the book once I was approved, but after the first 30 pages everything started going down hill. I am sad to say that after trying to read it for over a month, I can’t make myself finish the book and I will write a review on what I’ve read so far. I really wanted to like this book but I couldn’t.

Goodreads Summary:

A romantic comedy of post-millennial manners, apocalyptic career moves, and a woman’s last chance to get life right…

RULE #1: DON’T PANIC—IT ONLY ATTRACTS SHARKS

It’s not the end of the world. That’s what 39-year-old Tess Eliot has to remind herself after losing her newspaper column (“Tess Knows Best”) and being dumped by her boyfriend for a younger woman (a feng shui expert? Really?). Then Tess is hired to write an etiquette guide preparing readers for the Ancient Mayan doomsday of December 21, 2012, and she has to ask herself: Could the world really be coming to an end? At first, Tess fakes her way through chapters like “Boundaries in the Bunker” and “Cannibalism: Yes or No?” But after uncovering a secret plot for world destruction, she is forced to embark on a life-changing odyssey of her own—involving all-too-close encounters with touchy-feely survivalists, conspiracy theorists and one handsome guy who seems way too perfect.

What I liked:

I like that the book wasn’t badly written (as in I did not find any grammatical errors). I also liked the idea that was being marketed. The title makes you want to read the book and I like that. If this book would had been executed better, I would have been a fan of it for a long time.

What I didn’t like:

I did not like the characters in the story or how the plot was developed. The main character at first was someone I could be friends in real life and I kind of liked, but soon she started changing into something I could not stand. There are plenty of stories I’ve read with bad characters, but somehow you come to like them but Tess was one of those characters who I wanted to scream at and say, “Get a life! Grow up!” The only character I liked was Tess’ old boss who helps her obtain side jobs and in a sense is her advisor.

Overall:

I didn’t like the book and I couldn’t make myself finish it. What upsets me is that I requested a copy of this book to review it and I will be giving it a bad review but it happens. Everyone has a time where they have this awesome idea but it is poorly executed and it ends up being a mess. I am not bashing her writing but this story could have been better executed. It had so much potential for being great.

Rating: 2/5